New recipes from the past week include lavender shortbread. I wasn’t sure whether garden lavender can be used though there seems no reason to assume that it can’t. However, I forgot to take into account that its flowering period is now over! I think I may once have made shortbread (though never lavender flavoured) but it was so far in the distant past that I decided it could count as a new recipe. Sourcing culinary lavender wasn’t easy but I eventually discovered that Bart spices do a small jar for £1.99 and that it’s available in Waitrose. We don’t have a local branch so I called the two nearest branches; neither stocked it. Ocado will deliver but since I was ordering nothing else this wasn’t an option. Eventually I found some at Webbs garden centre in Wychbold (a place definitely worthy of its own post sometime soon) – a decent sized bag for £1.79. I’d intended using a recipe found on the Cotswold lavender site but it was only when I began that I realised it contains rice flour and I didn’t have any. No matter, I found a shortbread recipe from the baking booklet produced by Bygones Museum in Babbacombe, Devon (bought more than twenty years old, used constantly and very reliable). I made the shortbread as shown and added the lavender. It was ok but only partially successful; it was just not sweet enough. I think that perhaps lavender is a little bitter so more sugar is required to counteract this. I have added rice flour to my shopping list and will try again. I’m sure I can also improve on its appearance.
A Greek recipe for spanokopita (spinach and feta in filo pastry) was very successful though I shall make a smaller quantity next time. As I wasn’t sure how well it would freeze, I had to eat it for lunch and dinner on two consecutive days as husband is not keen on this kind of food. I’ve made something very similar in the past but finding recipes that are totally unlike anything previously cooked is a near impossibility when one has been cooking for forty years!
The chicken dish was again similar to others that I’ve made but it was in my recipe scrapbook , handwritten on a slip of paper. It’s been there for years and I’ve no idea from where it originated. It was a tasty blend of tomato, peppers, onions, various spices and chicken, of course. I shall make this one again.
These little frittatas are a Slimming World idea and very quick and simple to make. Simply pop a selection of chopped vegetables (I included potato, asparagus, spring onion and a little bit of ham) into bun tins, season, pour beaten egg over the top and bake. They tasted fine hot or cold and would be great for a picnic. I’ve made frittata lots of times but never so small. Is it stretching the boundaries to suggest that they count as a a new recipe?
Saving the best for last: by far the most delicious new recipe made in the past week was the French onion soup from my blog-friend Margaret’s recipe. (You may recognise her name from the minted pea soup I made last week). It was very much enjoyed but I forgot to take a photograph! There is plenty of Gruyere cheese left over though so I shall be making it again very soon. I’d planned to use the cheese for Gruyere and tomato tarts as shown on the box which contained filo pastry but I’ve decided that the soup wins on this occasion.
Using tried and tested recipes I’ve also made this week …Vegi-burgers (a regular favourite from Jack Monroe’s fab cookery book A girl called Jack), a chocolate fudge cake and a coffee and walnut cake, a crustless quiche (similar to the tortilla recipe but with cheese) a strawberry roulade (even more regular), an apple and nectarine crumble and black-bean chicken. And we’ve been eating runner beans…..a lot of runner beans.